Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This month's Maggot Gagger award goes to...

Normally we ignore the ECUSAn cult; but sometimes it is useful to remember the Egypt from whence our fathers were delivered, and see how it is led even now by the Zeitgeist (whose leadings they try to blame on the Holy Spirit)....

(Pictured, Presiding "Bishop" Katherine Jefforts-Schori of the Episcopal "Church")

The General Convention of the US Episcopal Church will be asked to authorize rites for the blessing of same-sex unions at their triennial meeting in July. On Jan 31 the Diocese of Newark synod endorsed a resolution asking the General Convention to amend the national Church’s canons governing Holy Matrimony, making them gender-neutral.Newark’s Resolution 2009-05 asks the national church to amend Canon 18: Of the Solemnization of Holy Matrimony, substituting the words “two persons” where the words “a man and a woman” now appear, and to amend Canon 19: Of Regulations Respecting Holy Matrimony, to substitute the word “spouse” where the words “husband or wife” appear.

Delegates to the Newark synod also asked their diocesan clergy to henceforth record services solemnizing same-sex civil unions in the parish register “in a manner identical to the recording of marriages,” and stated the diocese’s intention of asking the national Church to amend its canons making this innovation church wide.

Originally set down as a resolution to be adopted without debate, but removed from the synod’s “consent calendar” after protest, the resolution to amend the Church’s marriage canons stated that it would not authorize any further public rites for same-sex blessings, but would modify existing rites “when the needs of the congregation so require.”

It was “important that The Episcopal Church modify its canons to reflect the gender neutrality now reflected in the law in those states where the law permits” gay marriage, the resolution said.

Recording gay marriages in parish registers was a matter of justice, the second resolution averred.

“Until same-sex couples are accorded full marriage rights it is incumbent upon the Church to recognize their unions in an identical manner as opposite-sex couples and to give civil unions the same dignity and respect bestowed on opposite-sex marriages. The Church does justice and exercises pastoral care by requiring clergy to record civil unions in the Parish Register” in states that have permitted gay marriage, the resolution said.

At their Feb 1-5 meeting in Alexandria, the Primates urged the Episcopal Church to maintain its moratorium on gay bishops and blessings as did the 2008 Lambeth Conference. While many US dioceses have called for an end to the moratorium enacted at the 2006 General Convention, it is unclear whether the church as a whole will repudiate Lambeth, the primates and Dr Rowan Williams’ call for “gracious restraint.”

George Conger writes for The Living Church and The Church of England Newspaper


Anonymous said...

What's with their arbitrary and unfair bias towards the number two as in "two persons" and "couples?"

I think they're beta-supremacists. What about all the three-somes, four-somes, five-somes, .....etc that desire a union?

Alice C. Linsley said...

No surprises here. ECUSA/TEC departed from the Faith long ago. Some might say, it never held it.

Fr. Robert Hart said...

It most certainly did hold the true Faith once, and that is what we Continue. We (in the United States, that is) are the real Episcopal Church, as opposed to the ECUSAn cult headquartered in N.Y.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Schori is prettier than I had imagined!

Terminology question here. Aren't RC and EO churches "Episcopal?" I always wondered why U.S. Anglicans took that name since it's not the only thing peculiar to Anglicanism or the thing most peculiar to Anglicanism. I assume it's because in the context (1789 in the new country) almost everyone else was Presbyterian or Congregationalist and there weren't many other "Episcopals?"

Fr. Robert Hart said...

The Episcopal Church in the United States received its Apostolic Succession through the Anglican bishops in Scotland. There the Anglican Church was called the Episcopal Church of Scotland to distinguish it from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.

welshmann said...

Fr. Hart:

Did you mean Maggot Gagger (double-G)?

I am not an Anglican, but I watch with sadness as a sister Christian community sinks deeper and deeper into extreme error. Speaking as a concerned outsider, what jumps out at me is that these folks never seem to have the integrity to simply leave the established group and go start their own group based on their own ideas. But I think they know at some level that they need the patina of antiquity to lure people in. So they have to stay where they are and devour an established community from the inside.


Fr. Robert Hart said...

Double -G, yes--oops. I have fixed it.

John A. Hollister said...

The Resolution quoted by Fr. Hart declares: "Until same-sex couples are accorded full marriage rights it is incumbent upon the Church to recognize their unions in an identical manner as opposite-sex couples and to give civil unions the same dignity and respect bestowed on opposite-sex marriages."

My question is a simple one: WHY is it incumbent upon the Church to recognize any such thing?

Have you noticed, this basic point is NEVER explained in any of the heterophobes' political propaganda? Instead, such "arguments" always rely on an unsupported assertion of "marriage rights" or "full marriage rights", as though such rights are unquestionably in existence, when in fact it is the existence vel non of such rights that is the question now being put to the body politic.

(Or, in many jurisdictions, that is carefully withheld from the body politic because the sponsors of the notion are afraid of its rousing denial by the voters. So they prefer to seek the changes they wish at the hands of irresponsible judges -- "irresponsible" here meaning "not subject to being held responsible for their acts".)

It is my position that persons of homosexual preferences already possess precisely the same right to marry as do the rest of us. They have simply chosen not to exercise that right and wish, instead, to create something new, misappropriate the existing name for their new creation, and then foist the result off on the rest of us.

But their unwillingness to enter into actual marriages is no reason for us to muddy up the historic concept of marriage by confusing it with fruitless (in the literal sense) shack jobs.

It is very confused "reasoning", and utterly contrary to all of legal history, to assert with a straight face that because someone wishes to do something, particularly something of purely private enjoyment and of no public benefit whatever, he therefore has a right to do it. The prisons are filled to overflowing with thieves and murderers who follow that form of "reasoning" in their everyday affairs.

"I am tempted, therefore I am entitled" summarizes this position.

John A. Hollister+

John A. Hollister said...

Bruce asked: "I always wondered why U.S. Anglicans took that name [the Episcopal Church] since it's not the only thing peculiar to Anglicanism or the thing most peculiar to Anglicanism."

There would be less confusion if we remembered that the original name of the body in question -- and still its legal name, as evidenced by the captions of the numerous lawsuits it has filed within the past year -- was and is "the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America".

That is, on its formation as an independent body, it declared it was "the Protestant church that still has Bishops". As "Protestant" it was distinguishing itself from the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox; as "Episcopal" it was distinguishing itself from the Lutherans, Presbyterians, and all others of congregational polity.

John A. Hollister+

poetreader said...

"I am tempted, therefore I am entitled"

Nice formulation of the basic error here, an error that spreads widely through theology and thus poisons many wells.

I (as I've openly testified here) am so tempted, and know that I am not so entitles. In a similar conversation with a priest friend, he admitted frankly that he, as a 'straight' man. was tempted by some of the prettier young ladies - and that he was not therefore entitlerd to follow through on those desires. Temptation is not in itself sin, but neither is it a license to go ahead and sin. The 'apple' of Genesis 3 is a wonderful descrition of just that dynamic. It was always going to be very attractive, but that appeal had nothiung whatever to do with the licitness of eating it.


RSC+ said...

I think it's safe to say that the argument articulated here many times has proven true: If a church decides that gender doesn't matter for the sacrament of Holy Orders, it inevitably follows that it shouldn't matter for the sacrament of Holy Matrimony, either.

It will, I'm sure, lead to more Christological error, too. If gender doesn't matter for Holy Orders or Holy Matrimony, then, they will say, it doesn't matter for the persons of the Trinity, or the nature of the relationship between Christ and the Church. And so on. By reducing the sacraments and the Church to something man-made, rather than something ordained by Christ, they've caused the whole house to come a-tumblin' down. But at least they still have pretty music and vestments. Right?

Anonymous said...

And they've got good doughnuts, Shaughn. You forgot the doughnuts.